It's time to stop being embarrassed and talk about the prostate

It’s not a topic that you might want to talk about but for the men out there it is crucial. Studies show that one out of nine men will develop prostate cancer. That’s a horrifying concept, and regular checks can help any prostate conditions to be discovered early and treated more successfully.

What is the prostate?
For those that know of it but not the specifics, the prostate is a walnut-size gland that is between the penis and bladder and sits in front of the rectum. It is primarily responsible for reproduction as it creates the seminal fluid that nourishes and protects sperm for the long journey they have to make to contribute to creating a baby. Urine also travels from the bladder down the urethra which passes through the prostate. One of the main symptoms of prostate problems has to do with urination.

What problems can it cause?
The prostate is not a vital organ, but it surrounded by a lot of sensitive nerves and muscles that can cause a bit of strife. One of the most common, one in four men will be affected, is high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels which can cause urination issues and could be the sign of something more serious. If you dribble a bit after urination or find it tough to urinate, you should check that out with your GP right away as it’s one of the big warning flags that there is something wrong with your prostate.

A major problem and the second largest killer of men behind heart disease is prostate cancer. If untreated, prostate cancer can spread past the prostate gland and could even get into your bones.

When should I get a prostate check?
If you are over the age of 50 and see your GP regularly should already be getting it checked. A lot of advancement in medicine has shown that some prostate checks could be done via blood tests, but your GP may opt for the “old fashioned” way which can be embarrassing. The fact is you are dealing with a professional, and while it’s uncomfortable, it’s a lot better than the alternative.

Ad. Article continues below.

Short answer, if you are over 50, then you should be getting it checked every year. No “ifs”, No “and”, or well you get the picture.

What can I do to prevent prostate cancer?
While there is no vaccine or sure fire way of preventing prostate cancer there are things that you can do to reduce your risk. The first one is to lower your consumption of alcohol and dairy. While there is no suggestion they should go together (outside of a White Russian) there have been studies that show that reducing the intake of both can reduce your risks of prostate cancer.

You might want to double check your snack options as foods containing high levels of linoleic and palmitic acids can promote prostate cancer growth. This one is a bit harder as biscuits, cakes, crisps, and butter contains these acids. All things in moderation, but while you are lowering your alcohol consumption, it might be easier to reduce the use of their ideal companion crisps.

It is important to see the doctor if you have any concerns about your health, and they will be able to give you a lot more specific advice about your health. Get regular check ups and if you want more information about prostate cancer you can always visit the Prostate Screen Australian website for more information and screening details.

Have you had prostate cancer? What advice would you give to those too embarrassed to check?